Dean Richards frustrated by refereeing as Newcastle slip to defeat against Wasps
Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards was critical of referee J P Doyle after the 34-20 loss to Aviva Premiership title hopefuls Wasps.
Tries from Taione Vea and George McGuigan kept Newcastle in touch but double strikes from scrum-half Dan Robson and flanker Thomas Young plus one from George Smith left the Falcons chasing the game.
Richards was fuming after seeing tries by Simon Hammersley and Nili Latu ruled out by Doyle, who awarded Wasps a penalty which led to Young's last-minute try.
Doyle had frustrated home supporters early on when he penalised Wasps four times in the red zone, warning them twice but failing to produce a yellow card.
Richards explained: "I'm more disappointed than angry - bitterly disappointed in fact.
"We ended up having the same thing today as we had at Bath when we should have had a penalty in the final minutes of the game.
"The referee was told by his touch judge that one of their players had come in the side but he ignored him and penalised us instead.
"We seem to have to be whiter than white and even then other sides seem to get away with it.
"There is a complete lack of confidence in the standard of refereeing at this time.
"We just want consistency from the referees and we're just not getting it at the moment. The players are losing heart in their understanding of what the referees want.
"We just want to play on a fair footing with everyone else and we're just not getting that at the moment.
"There's absolutely nothing you can do about it but there is clearly inconsistency in interpretation by the referees."
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was predictably happier after a success which maintained their title hopes.
He said: "The result at this stage of the season is probably more important than the style.
"We played really well in patches but our discipline was a problem and we gave away too many penalties.
"I was a bit concerned with 15-20 minutes left but you have to be pleased with five points because it's never easy at Newcastle.
"We expected it to be hard and Newcastle have some quality in their squad. We scored some good tries but we really had to scrap for it and I was pleased with our defensive work-rate - and we stuck to our structure.
"We've been better this season but the attitude and desire was there."
Meanwhile, Andy Goode was keen to thank the Newcastle fans for helping make his time with the club enjoyable.
This was Goode's final appearance on a short-term three-month contract - and when he came on for the final 10 minutes the 6,725 crowd gave him a warm reception.
The 35-year-old orchestrated a spirited late Falcons charge - but the home side came up short and missed out on a losing bonus point.
However, Goode said: "I've enjoyed every minute of it.
"I suppose I'll wake up tomorrow and realise it's the end of my rugby career and I'd like to thank the Newcastle fans, they have been great."